Jess Phillips treats the Commons to the best stand-up

Written by Dods staff on 30 January 2019 in Diary

The Labour MP managed to get laughs while talking about the post-Brexit salary threshold for skilled immigrants.

Some parliamentarians like to take apart their opponents’ policies with serious argument and ferocious criticism. Others are better when it comes to sounding like agreeable human beings and making colleagues laugh with witty one-liners.

As MPs debated the immigration bill, Jess Phillips showed an amazing ability to do both.

Blasting the government’s plans for a £30,000 salary cap for "skilled workers" after Brexit, she began with the serious stuff:

“The idea of a £30,000 limit providing a sense of what skill base there is is absolutely flabbergasting… The idea that ordinary people are not skilled—we have to be careful with this language—and the idea that my constituents are not skilled because they do not earn over £30,000 is frankly insulting. It is insulting on every level to our care workers, our nurses, our teachers—there are so many people who do not earn over £30,000.”

Then she chucked in an excellent line about how she revised her thinking about posh people upon entering the Commons in 2015:

“I thought I had met posh people before I came here, but I had actually just met people who eat olives.”

And she finished off by suggesting that posh Tory MPs were no match for the posh people in her local Waitrose.

Even hardened lobby hacks were impressed with the set. "Sometimes, the best stand-up is in the House of Commons," was the verdict of  seasoned Bloomberg UK political correspondent Rob Hutton.





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